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that remove his name d four others om the black list made the decision to coincide wit president karzai's outreach program. >> those who are not part it as i menoned earlier, who are not part o al qaeda and othe, wh are the sons o afghan soil anwho are in thounds and thousands an thousand they have to be reintegrat and ey are welcome toe reintegrated. >> reporter:he oounl black list stillontains the names of 140 taliban mmanders, some of wh aren the american li of killr capture list. past experience hasshown that efforts get themround the negotiing table have prov very dngerous for them. a major offensive isbout to be launched in theudden hearand in helmond by bothu.s. and british troops. the cost ofpresident obama's inforcements is put at $1 million pe soldier per yea that is $30 billion in the next 12 months. al jazeera, kab. >>> as we turn to ts week' roundtab discussion, we're gointoocus entily on afghantan this evening. at yeerday's london conference and beyond, there was renewed talk this wee of trying to negotiate an end to the lng war inafghanistan. joining us once again tonig
of canada about the cabinet picks for hamid karzai. what is the concern over the choices that president karzai is making? guest: he has now made two set of choices. he nominated one slate of cabinet officials, about 24 of them. 17 were rejected by the parliament. but arlin is in a healthy move, asserting itself. this is a good thing -- the parliament is, in a healthy move, asserting itself. this is a good thing, checks and balances. he looked at the first slate of nominees by president karzai and parliament did not like them. they did confirm the most important cabinet choices from president karzai, the minister of defense and the minister of interior, which handles all of the police. the minister of finance, the minister of agriculture, when the biggest recipients of assistance. -- one of the biggest recipient of assistance. those picks are clear. president karzai has recently over the weekend submitted a second state to replace those that were rejected the first time. these are lesser-known people. the second slate are lesser- known people. many people have not heard -- many afghans h
. president karzai told a conference that his company -- country was moving slowly toward national security. of the next 45 minutes, british and afghan leaders and the un secretary general outline their goals. general mcchrystal has the international forces serving with such distinction in afghanistan and soon to be over 100,000 strong. foreign ministers, distinguished guests representing over 70 nations and international organizations, including every single member of the 43 nation strong international security assistance force. representing also afghanistan's key regional and muslim partners with whom we are pleased to work and his involvement in this worldwide coalition to support peace and stability in this crucial region are especially welcome to. this is a decisive time for the international cooperation that is helping the afghan people secure and govern their own country. for this conference marked the beginning of the transition process, of bring the necessary conditions under which we can begin district by district, a provident -- province by province, the transferring of responsib
karzai government who stole the election and ruled only topple. so much of afghanistan is effectively run by the taliban. in addition, we've had eight years with the u.s. has isolated between the kinetic counterterrorism strategy and a counterinsurgency strategy that tries to protect people. and we have seen the last oscillation of that. this happened during the bush administration, and now it's happening again in the obama administration that we are moving back to a counterinsurgency strategy. now besides afghanistan being a much harder, not to crack that iraq we now have a lot of domestic factors affecting the u.s. policy. the american public is war weary after two wars stretched out over many years. and i think it's politically perilous for any politician in a democracy to escalate a war that is already unpopular, even lbj didn't do that when he escalated the vietnam war. u.s. spending in afghanistan is more per year than any other military spends on the planet. so we're dumping a lot of resources into afghanistan. the afghan war is expected to cost another trillion dollars over the ne
which is often not the case. hamid karzai is not particularly interested in doing that. at one point, his generals came to him and said these changes are starting to demoralize the army and his reply was i don't care. if they are bad i will demoralize them some more. there are a few instances where political considerations outweigh merit in how commanders are chosen. sometimes in the military there is a tendency to say how dare we let that happen? certainly it can be damaging in many ways but keep in mind that war is a political activity. there are cases where politics from merrick. our civil war is an excellent example. abraham lincoln gave ships to a lot of inexperienced politicians in the north in order to get their help in reporting people from their state and so forth. ultimately at the higher level you have some sort of balance between merit and political considerations. afghanistan has that balance and the government has not put merit often a enough. in the book i go into a lot of detail on what foreign powers in the united states and afghanistan to improve the leaders of indi
to coincide with president karzai's outreach program. >> those taliban who are not part of terrorist networks, as i mentioned earlier, who are not part of al qaeda and other terrorist networks, or the sons of afghan soil and who are in thousands and thousands and thousands, they have to be reintegrated and they're welcome to be integrated. >> but the u.n. blacklist still contains the names of nearly 140 taliban commanders, some of whom are also on the american military's kill or capture list. past experience has shown that efforts to get them around the negotiating table have proved very dangerous for them. a major offensive against taliban strongholds is about to be launched in their sudden hea heartland in helmand by both u.s. and british troops. the coast of president obama's reinforcements is put at $1 million per soldier per year. that's $30 billion in the next 12 months. david chaiter, al jazeera, kabul. >>> as we turn to this week's "roundtable discussion," we're going to focus entirely on afghanistan this evening. at yesterday's london conference and beyond, there was renewed talk thi
with karzai. this is an opportunity for us to make sure that more draconian steps are taken and said if they steps that have yielded little results. >> i could not agree with you more. i cannot disagree with you at all. this is a moment and it will take a tough hand. >> i noticed the vote has not gone off. and to set fashion, which are drifting along here. -- in truth senate fashion, we are drifting along here. >> i'd prefer to look at this as an opportunity to finish my questions. i.t. why for being here and for your insights. -- thank you for your being here a year and says. my first question before i ask more about the long term, if each of you are satisfied that everything is currently being done that can be done with the short-term relief efforts, dr. former, you talk about how slow the relief efforts are and to a great extent that is because of the lack of infrastructure. is there more than should be done right now to address those relief efforts? >> thank you. i think there is a mismatch between the degree of interest and resources that we as a nation are putting in and the ab
this week. move in return for this additional commitment, we must agree with president karzai's plan for the expansion of the afghan army and police. we will agree today that the afghan national army will # 134,000 by october 2010. and more by 2011. we will commit to supporting a police report with afghan national police numbers preeti 9000 by october of this year. this is a present bigger than our coalition forces. we need more international trainers to do this. we are doubling the number of military teams for the afghan police starting in april of this afghan security forces will be 300,000. international forces will rise to 135,000. the balance will continue to ship toward afghan security control. as president obama made clear last month, by the middle of next year, we have to turn the tide in the fight against the insurgency and also in our work to support the afghan government. today we affirm that the increase in our military efforts must be matched with governance in economic development, a surge to match and complement the current military surge. we have agreed today to back
hamid karzai told the conference that is country is moving slowly toward national security but that training security forces could take years. at an opening session this morning, the british and that an leaders and the un secretary general outlined their goals for the conference. . . >> in the last year britain has suffered hundreds of fatalities per he to the countries represented today recognizes that this mission is vital for our national security. it is vital to the stability of this crucial region and it is vital to the security of our world. we set out last autumn on strategies and we're making progress. the military search is turning to the tide against the taliban- led insurgency. it is at the same time building the capacity of the afghan forces who are fighting alongside us. a civilian surge is insuring that areas are cleared of the taliban and our stabilization teams go in to work with local to halt ground that has been a superdelegate. britain is proud that we lead the largest civilian reconstruction team in afghanistan. during 2009, we doubled the number of brit
fighters or leaders using hundreds of millions of dollars, jobs, housing. afghan president hamid karzai called for a grand conference this spring, and even the involvement of saudi arabia. >> we must reach out to all the countrymen, especially our disenchanted brothers. who are not part of our al-qaeda or other terrorist networks. >> as for the fight, itself, host prime minister brown claimed the tide was turning and this marked the beginning of transfer of security if provinces to the afghan forces he said could reach 300,000 by next year. >> as they become stronger, we can hand over to them responsibility of tackling terrorism and extremism. >> still, many acknowledge the afghan troops are not close to taking over and the bulk of the fighting will be carried on by the urging u.s. forces woes numbers will reach 100,000 this year. how much will nato criticize for not stopping up enough in the past help out? >> while we are searching tens of thousands you're talking about 1,000 here, 500 here, the numbers are appreciably smaller on the european side. >> all in all it's close to the 40,0
. the fighting raged citywide for nearly five hours. today's grizzly attacks came just as afghan president karzai was swearing in members of his new cabinet. ambassador richard holbrook, u.s. special envoy to the region who just left kabul hours earlier told reporters in india that he wasn't surprised. >> they're ruthless. the people who are doing this certainly will not survive the attack nor will they succeed. but we can expect this sort of thing on a regular basis. >> warner: the taliban claims responsibility for today's attacks telling the associated press they had sent 20 militants to do the job. it was the militants' answer to karzai's recently renewed offer of reconciliation with the taliban said the u.s. institute of peace. >> the taliban spokesperson said today in claiming responsibility for the attack that they were trying to undermine or disrupt the notion that the taliban could be bought off, that they could be lured off the battlefield and instead to demonstrate that they are united and they are committed to their cause. they sent these suicide bomber into the heart of kabul. >> warn
government as well. guest: years ago when he met with hamid karzai at a dinner, someone said to him, mr. president, how are you going to address this problem of corruption? in fact, he said, what problem? joe biden, famously -- dinner was over -- he threw his napkin down and said, this dinner is over, and walked out. nothing has happened to defrost his relations with president karzai. both biden and richard holbrooke have terrible relations with karzai. host: james traub is with us to talk about the influence of joe biden. republicans, 202-737-0001. democrats, 202-737-0002. independents, 202-628-0205. you can send us an e-mail or tweet us at. next phone call. caller: i think our president is doing very well. if we wanted joe biden as president, he would be president. i like the idea that our president is intelligent. he is not a puppet, like the last eight years. i think he is doing what he is supposed to be doing. host: james traub? guest: i guess i would agree, in general. he believes he could be a good president. i believe this is almost a desirable alternative. he is a very knowledg
-nation conference on the future of afghanistan. afghan president hamid karzai said he expects foreign forces to be in his country for up to 15 years. there was also talk of a new plan to win over the taliban by allowing them into the afghanistan government. the executive of foreign editor of the london telegraph, also a terrorism expert. it is kind of like talking about both sides of your mouth. we say that this is one of the most brutal regimes on the planet and yet that they want to allow them into the afghanistan government. what do you make of that? >> reporter: well, this is a very ambitious program. the heart of the matter here is that there is a core of the taliban, the original founders who are never going to give in to the west and are always going to be an enemy. in recent years because of the we the afghan press has been handled the strength of the taliban has ground. there are a lot of people who would not normally support the taliban have been drawn in. the plan is to try and persuade them to come back into the mainstream of afghan politics by paying to lay down their guns. trac
't have to continue. khzaei -- karzai was a great hope. everyone no knows him respected him. he might change his mind. the pressures that led him to permit and maybe support this corrupt structure could be reversed over time. the people up and down that structure might change their mind. the parliament is -- has stood up against his nominations. who's knows who's going to happen up and down that road. if we succeed in something that we can do, peter has pointed out the crucial important to the kandahar road. than doesn't be impossible to secure that. that changes the economic nature of southern afghanistan. it could get better. >> if i could just add one point. there's no question that the ghost of vietnam haunts this administration. i can tell you from being in it for 60 days. the ghost of what happened to lyndon johnson walks the corridors of this white house, it walks the corridors of this building every day. it's a mistake. we got to get over it. we got to stop fighting the vietnam war. i don't know whether we could have won or not, but it is not relevant to afghanistan. as marc p
. the book centers on this incident which i described where u.s. special operators blocked hamid karzai's planned governor for kabul. she interweaves into it a very well-written and interestingly a history that is well-written, well-organized, and based on a lot of her own research with the original sources. a second really important understanding of the country can be gotten from joe haversty's book "the opium season" which details a year in which he was involved in as a subcontractor in the usaid efforts in 2 004-2005 to provide alternative livelihood's to draw with the work force from up opium production. it gives a great view of the violence and corruption. and moreover it shows the bureaucratic profiteering and dysfunction that is increasing the complexity and cost of our involvement, not just in war, but in development. a third source, and i think it is outstanding if you want to understand the country is rory stewart, who within weeks after the fall of the taliban walked to kabul in the winter which is supposed to kill you and through pashtun villages and described that experienc
. not so much optimism so much that they have received that hamid karzai is the winner and the united states is in again in a big way. >> is there also a reality in that their daily lives are improving? >> the improvements have been gradual. there is only a little improvement on transportation and education. there is no improvement on their sense of security from the taliban. they have seen some improvements. they are not dramatic. what has changed is their estimation of what the next few years will bring. they are staking out their future that the americans will somehow prevail. >> looked, they're saying this strategy is working. flexed too early to say that it is working, but i would say that there is a battle for the sections to be one -- >> it is too early to say that it is working, but i would said there's a battle for the elections of the future. afghanistan may be turning a corner. but there's also a lot wrong with the ordinary lives of afghans. over the last five years it has increased, but it could fade away. >> you mentioned that people were aware that the election was fraud
stated to be beginning about 18 months after to give karzai and his regime enough time to stand up and fight for itself. we will see. host: we have our numbers on the screen and we will get to the calls in immelman. -- in a moment. you laid out a number of issues which have to be practical issues that have to be dealt with, but the fact of the matter is that you bring vietnam and it becomes a political issue as well. tell us how you view this as a political issue. guest: the lesson that we need to learn, i think, from john kennedy's experience is this. he was with -- he was withdrawing at the time. we have the classified documents. but he did not tell the truth to the american people why? for political reasons. he wanted to get it reelected in 1964. he had begun to order the withdrawal in 1963. host: and these would have been the trainer said you talked about. guest: 16,000 of visors, not combat troops. but my point is that obama should not repeat that experience. he is clearly going to do the best that we can in a given amount of time, but what we face the prospect -- if we face t
fighters, the karzai government has been working closely with general mcchrystal's staff under the leadership of a british major general to construct a plan offering incentives to low- and mid-level taliban fighters who are willing to lay down their weapon and recognize the afghan government's authority. president karzai has said that he will be ready to issue this plan within a month or so, and u.s. officials expect to be fully supportive. it will take a few months after that to make the plan operational. while there is apparently no progress to negotiate with higher level taliban to end the violence and become politically active, it doesn't reduce the need to chip away at that lower-level taliban group. we read in the press today that progress is being made. as a matter of fact, with leaders, local leaders in afghanistan in that endeavor. in conclusion, we saw some signs of progress on our visit in a number of critical ways, in training and equipping afghan security forces, in partnering closely in the field with the afghan security forces and a perception and reality of opti
. lot of our senior team in the country. spend 90 minutes with president karzai and most importantly we got out to a agaabad valley and met with the team on the ground there. i told the president in february and i kept my word to him, that if he would give our soldiers the resources they needed to get the job done and come home safe he'd have our support. i expressed the night of the president's west point address concern about the timetable of withdrawal. july of 2011 beginning withdrawal. i don't think it makes sense on a battlefield to tell the enemy when you're going to stop fighting. [applause]. so - i'm - i was pleaseed the president called for reinforcements but i wanted to ask tough questions. what i can report to you as general mcchrystal actually answers to people like me but i answer to people like you so i'll report to you, that i'm told that they have the resources and personnel in the decision that the president has made to get the job done. um... - if they have the time to do it. that's issue. i talked to the afghan leaders and rank and file military afghan militants in t
karzai and with his cabinet on numerous occasions, notably with the trip that hillary clinton and i had made to afghanistan on october 18 and 19 in conjunction with the inauguration. the afghans understood this, they are very comfortable with it. so i need to underscore that's what july 2011 means. not a withdraw, but the start of a responsibility transition in which american combat troops will begin to draw down. on the second question and in regard to pakistan, i'm not sure quite how you phrase it. strobe, you made a generic comment? >> mike hamlin and his colleagues have put together a set of bench marks on sort of how things are going. and the trend that they feel they have identified in pakistan is ominous, negative by comparison with a year ago. >> yeah. i read mike's monthly, it's quarterly, actually, isn't it? i read mike's quarterly table with great interest. and it@@@@@@p it's a common problem i've seen in every war i've been involved in. let's not confuse the number of cell phones with low the war is going. let's not minimize that cell phone penetration is a hugely important
ability for governments. this was discussed at length to present karzai, and with his cabinet on numerous occasions, notably in putting the trip that hillary clinton and i made an afghanistan in october 18 and 19th in conjunction with president karzai's inauguration. the afghans understood this. they are very comfortable with it. . . to underscore that's what july 2011 means. not a withdraw, but the start of a responsibility transition in which american combat troops will begin to draw down. on the second question and in regard to pakistan, i'm not sure quite how you phrase it. strobe, you made a generic comment? >> mike hamlin and his colleagues have put together a set of bench marks on sort of how things are going. and the trend that they feel they have identified in pakistan is ominous, negative by comparison with a year ago. >> yeah. i read mike's monthly, it's quarterly, actually, isn't it? i read mike's quarterly table with great interest. and it helped -- influenced me a lot as we tried to develop our own benchmarks. but i think we have to be very careful about two things. maybe th
as the prime minister of pakistan and are meeting with president karzai. it was an interesting juxtaposition as we looked to the military component what is happening on the government's side in both pakistan and afghanistan. when it comes to the governance issue in afghanistan, in our meeting with president karzai, he stressed very much the significance of the upcoming parliamentary elections. the need to ensure that under the afghan constitution, that process moves forward to clearly define or establish the legitimacy of the afghan government and their processes as they move ahead. we also had an opportunity to visit the police training centers there in kabul. very important to understand the progress that is being made at the afghan army is being trained. they truly are operating at a deficit in terms of the numbers and bringing more recruits in, but what they have seen in the past several months has been remarkable in terms of the numbers of recruits that have come in. we met with the minister of defense, who indicated that just in the past month, the number of recruits that they have rec
hope you are speaking for yourself. >> you have done a great job with karzai. this is an opportunity for us to make sure that more draconian steps are taken and said if they steps that have yielded little results. >> i could not agree with you more. i cannot disagree with you at all. this is a moment and it will take a tough hand. >> i noticed the vote has not gone off. and to set fashion, which are drifting along here. -- in truth senate fashion, we are drifting along here. >> i'd prefer to look at this as an opportunity to finish my questions. i.t. why for being here and for your insights. -- thank you for your being here a year and says. my first question before i ask more about the long term, if each of you are satisfied that everything is currently being done that can be done with the short-term relief efforts, dr. former, you talk about how slow the relief efforts are and to a great extent that is because of the lack of infrastructure. is there more than should be done right now to address those relief efforts? >> thank you. i think there is a mismatch between the degree of int
with taliban fighters. president hamid karzai said he wants to let militants lay down their weapons and go home, so long as they are not affiliated with al qaeda. karzai spoke in istanbul, turkey, three days before an international conference on afghanistan in london. he said gathering international support was key. >> in the past, this effort by the afghan government did not have the backing or the support of our international partners. this current effort, this renewed effort, i should say, has the backing of our partners, in particular the united states and europe. >> sreenivasan: at the same time, the nato commander in afghanistan said he hopes an influx of troops will force taliban leaders to accept peace. general stanley mcchrystal suggested former taliban could even join the government. he said, "i think any afghans can play a role if they focus on the future, and not the past." also today, nato officials announced two more soldiers-- one british, one norwegian-- have been killed in bombings in afghanistan. the u.s. military will speed up a review of more than 4,300 iraq and afghanistan
attackers were killed. it started as 14 members of hamid karzai's cabinet were about to be sworn in. >>> and the man who shot pope john paul ii was released this morning, taken to a military facility. he served 19 years in an italian prison for a 1981 attack. he was extradited to turkey where he served ten years. >>> they lived through tuesday's earthquake. now hungry, thirsty and desperate, the people of haiti are doing whatever they can to survive. >> for tens of thousands of people, that means crowding into tents and tarps. soledad o'brien takes us inside one of these tent cities. >> reporter: there was enough water in one of the makeshift camps to give some of the children a shower. there was a little food. a makeshift clinic. they even picked up the garbage. but many of the tens of thousands of haitians displaced by the earthquake have no house to go back to, and no new place to go. they live beneath recovered sheets and blankets in the grass and concrete. these hot and dirty encampments that have sprung up in parks and plazas are now their homes. >> the people of haiti need th
described where u.s. special operators blocked karzai's planned governor for kabul but she interweaves into it a very well written and interestingly -- history that is well written and well organized and -- and based on a lett of her own research with the original sources, a second reading -- rell important understanding of the country can be gotten from joel's book the opium season. and that details a year in which he was involved in a -- as a -- subcontractor in u.s. a.i.d. efforts in 2004 and 2005 to provide alternative livelihoods, to -- to draw away the work force from opium production. and it gives a great view of the violence and corruption and this complex tribal and world relations. and moreover, it shows the bureaucratic prove fit tiering and dysfunction that -- is -- is increasing the complexity and cost of our involvement, not just in war but in -- in development. a third source and it is outstanding if you want to understand the country is roshy stewart, wo within weeks after the fall of the taliban walked from iraq to kabul in the winter, which is supposed to kill you. an
accusations against president karzai's relatives, brothers, part of this drug trade. >> we are talking about two different subject matters here. certainly the minister in afghanistan is very weak. he has no ability to enforce the law. it is nothing. it is sort of a moral role. i guess that is what tom meant when he says it is ineffective. certainly he's very clear. i never had one single word against him in terms of him being involved. then there is a different element, which i brought up, the question of corruption. corruption in kabul. corruption in the provinces. corruption in the army. that's a different issue and i would consider it one of most dangerous ones and one of the most urgent to be dealt with. >> gretchen, last word to you. as this re-assessment of afghan policy goes on, as this crisis in governance in afghanistan is playing itself out, how is this going to help or hinder, more like likely, the effort to control the drugs? >> well, i think at the same time that the drug problem creates challenges. it also presents opportunities. my research among the people of afghanistan and
they are ready to sign up and support car sky. -- karzai. there is a distinction between the foot soldier and the leaders who gave a safe hache to osama bin laden and al qaeda from which they launched attacks on this country on 9/11. so he sees the distinction. i don't think it should be lost on you. i think we can look at think with some subtlety between these two. and go after the foot soldiers and try to win them over. and ultimately figure out what to do with the hierarchy as we go up the ladder. now, omar is probably the extreme, the foot soldiers are the other extreme. question is what happens to the others? can they be won over? can they become a part of the political fabric that gates spoke of? and that's i think what we are all trying to figure out. i don't know that we have an answer yet. >> at what point does the 30,000 new troops, the department set up to begin accepting converts, from the taliban, reconciliation sectors, like south america. >> it's not an issue for the department. this is an issue for the government of afghanistan. clearly just reading president karzai's comm
, frankly, the central government of afghanistan, president karzai's goth, is not effective in governance. jon: but he's the one putting forward this plan. >> i think there's some pressure on our side -- from our side on him to accept this plan. last year as soon as the pakistan army made a deal to allow them to have swat valley in february, they went on defensive and took one of the cities that the pakistani army had to go back and resecure. we have to be very careful as we negotiate with these guys. jon: a lot of double dealing. tony schafer, good to talk to you. >> thanks. jane: so you think your bills are out of control? wait until you hear about this guy. he's from colorado, opened his mail and said he was shocked because his water bill was $8,000. but then he looked closer and he realized it was actually for 8,959,000 dollars. he calculated the water -- contacted the water department pretty quick. take a listen. >> i don't know how you could ever run up $9 million in a water bill be unless i'm paying for the city of louisville. >> turns out the company was switching to a new billing
for reforming washington. >> is there a way that can be accomplished? >> president karzai is heading to london this week and he wants some taliban taken off the u.s. sanctions welist in exchange for their laying down their arms. >> you have heard that general petraeus discussed similar type efforts in afghanistan, political reconciliations. you have per general mcchrystal discussed the same thing. obviously, that is a similar path to what happened in iraq. each of those two individuals have talked through this. this is provided that whoever this is accept the event constitution, renounces violence, and publicly breaks through the groups that advocate violence. that is what people expect under the notion of reconciliation. >> last week, the win put out a report saying that the amount of graft and kickbacks in of denniston is about $2.3 billion per year which is 25% of their gross domestic product. who in the administration is really writing point on dealing with issues of corruption in afghanistan? >> a group of people working and our afghan policy -- let me figure out where some of that inform
in afghanistan. president karzai today in fact said that he believes that the insurgents will definitely be invited to the peace talks, and what do you think about that idea? >> well, in general, jill, you don't make peace with the friends, but with your enemies. there are clear conditions. you must renounce violence, you must lay down your arms, you must renounce al qaeda, and you must be willing to live by the laws in the constitution of afghanistan. so, i think that this is the way that peace usually gets made. you send out feelers and see who is willing to lay down their arms and abide by the conditions. you see how far up that will go, and i don't expect mullah omar and others to come this way and they have made clear they won't, but there are others who will be seeing these astringent conditions as a formidable task. a >> and now to jill townsend who was a senior strategist to president bush, what do you feel of this? >> well, you want to peel off the foot soldiers who are in it because they are intimidated and the only way to protect the families yochlt wau tont pull them away fro
blocked karzai's plan to governor for kabul. she interweaves a very well- written and interestingly a history that is a well-written, well-organized and based on her own research with original sources. a second really important understanding of the country can be gotten from the book "the opium season," which details a year in which he was involved as a -- a subcontractor in u.s.a.i.d. efforts in 2004-2005 to provide alternative livelihood's to draw with a workforce from opium production. it gives a view of the violence, tribal and warlord relations, and moreover, it shows the bureaucratic profiteering and dysfunction that is increasing the complexity and cost of our involvement, not just in war, but in development. a third source, and i think it is outstanding if you want to understand the country is stored, who within weeks after the fall of the taliban locked to kabul in the winter, which is supposed to kill you -- what to kabul in the winter, which is supposed to value and described the bill which experience in a week -- and described that experience in a way in which any develo
. but early signs are encouraging. we are encouraged by the steps president karzai has taken to approve the effectiveness and credibility of his government, and we're committed to working in partnerships to reduce corruption which along with the insurgency is perhaps the greatest threat to afghanistan. and recent polls of public afghan opinion are also encouraging. afghans in significant numbers blame the taliban far more than coalition forces for violence that exists in the country. most afghans believe the taliban is growing weaker, and by huge margins, about 9-1, clearly prefer the afghan government that they have to any alternative the taliban might offer. but our progress on the ground and the attitudes of the afghan people show we're making progress in achieving our objectives and accomplishing our mission in afghanistan as articulated by the president. the third part of our strategy is a stronger partnership with pakistan. the people of pakistan have suffered greatly at the hands of terrorism. pakistanis, civilians, military, police, civilians have sacrificed their lives fighting
a major taliban attack this morning. that's from president karzai. the taliban says that militants and suicide bombers attacked the presidential palace in kabul. it is unclear whether they made their way inside but nato confirms bombings and government buildings near the palace. and at least five people died and 38 are injured. >>> the health care debate could hinge on a one-state election tomorrow. it's a race to fill the lay senator ted kennedy's seat. senator -- stay senator scott brown, republican, is running against massachusetts attorney general, martha coakley, a democrat. recent polls suggest that the race may be closer than expected. and that got president obama on the campaign trail. >> send a leader to washington who is going to work tirelessly every single day to turn this economy around and move this country forward and to keep the american dream alive in our time and for all time. that's what martha coke sly about. >> many people in massachusetts are not happy with what's happening in washington, d.c. i think president obama coming in actually helped scott brown. >> i
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